This post is about a bit of hiking and the visit from our daughter and grandson. Also included are some surprising flood images and the expected sunrise and sunset shots.

We did a short hike in a remote corner of Saguaro National Park (West). Here’s a view of Wendy with the Tucson valley and Mt. Lemmon in the foreground.

We hiked up to a saddle. Marana is behind Doug in the photo below.

In the middle of January, we had several days of heavy rain, which also brought snow to the mountains. The Rillito River, which for most of the year is dry, was inundated with water. It flows into the Santa Cruz River, and this is what the river looked like flowing under the Ina bridge.

This is taken from the same spot when the waters had subsided substantially.

This is looking north at the bike path during the flood.

And the same spot after. A new path is currently being constructed on higher ground to avoid this section of “The Loop.”

Our youngest daughter and her 11-month son came to visit for a week. On the first day, we walked near our place to our favourite saguaro grove. Our daughter has her sleeping son in a front carrier.

We walked on a trail we had recently discovered, which gets us to this view only twenty minutes from our place.

A little farther along the trail is a thick stand of Teddy Bear cholla. Wasson Peak is in the background. This loop takes us about an hour.

Later we visited a playground and the Saguaro National Park visitor centre. We found a sheltered sunny spot because it was unusually cold that day.

Another day, we hiked at Sabino Canyon. Snowmelt made a stream in Rattlesnake Canyon, which is normally dry.

As usual, we found some blooming flowers at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. January blooms are pretty special. This yellow beauty is found on a candle bush (Senna Alata). It is native to most of the neotropics and is planted was an ornamental in Arizona.

This blue-violet flower is in the nightshade family.

If you look closely, you can see a hummingbird near the flowers of this Aloe Vera.

Facing out in the front carrier allowed the little one a good view, and his mom was careful that he only touched non-prickly things.

Packrat Playhouse at the Desert Museum was so much fun. This Gila Monster slide was a favourite.

We planned a second trip to the Desert Museum, which meant timing the morning nap with a “nap-walk.” The King’s Canyon trailhead is just by the Desert Museum entrance. We scheduled our drive so the little guy was still awake and then walked up the canyon without talking as he slept. It was another chilly day,  but he was cozy and warm.

After we visited exhibits at the Desert Museum that we had missed, we returned to the Packrat Playhouse. This time the giant rattlesnake’s mouth was intriguing.

We had several rainy and cloudy days in January which allowed for some gorgeous sunrises …

… and sunsets. There were so many good ones that it was hard to choose one!

So here is another sunset that includes our Arizona home.

We spent many days birding in January, so check out Part 2, which will be posted soon.

One thought on “January 2023 in Arizona – Part 1

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